Psychological, physical, economic, sexual, assisted by the children; stalking, catcalling, discrimination and gender inequality. Violence against women it has multiple forms and seems to know no boundaries. For Italians it is among the urgent priorities of the country’s political agenda: a primary critical issue to be solved both when it comes to physical violence (60.8%), and if it comes to psychological violence (57.8%). An affirmation of principle that then collides with discriminatory attitudes rooted in society and with the underestimation, for example, of the phenomenon of rape. Although in fact according to ISTAT about 5% of 16-70 year old women (1 million 157 thousand) have suffered rape or attempted rape, more than 40% of Italians think that this figure does not exceed 3%. A much more frequent underestimation among men than among women.
These are some of the data that emerged from a survey carried out by AstraRicerche on a representative sample of the Italian population, presented today at the event All faces of violence, promoted by the Anti-violence Network of the Municipality of Milan and Gilead Sciences Italia.
The research: disheartening data
The resulting photograph is disheartening. One in four Italians think that it cannot really be considered a form of violence Comment on physical abuse suffered by a woman stating that it is less serious because her attitudes, clothing or appearance communicated that she was ‘available’; the majority of men think so (30%), but the percentage of women is also significant (20%). About 3 out of ten people do not consider violence “Slap your partner if she has flirted with another “; among women, 20% are convinced, while the percentage rises to 40% for men. Again, one in three Italians does not consider violence fforcing your partner into sexual intercourse if she doesn’t feel like it; about four men and three out of ten women think that. Numbers that tell of a patriarchal Italy, in which there is still a lot to do in terms of information and awareness. A cultural issue that is not the prerogative of men only, but that also concerns women.
“We need a cultural change that makes us all feel part of the problem, because women cannot – and must not – be left alone to deal with violence and mistreatment. For this reason, in Lombardy, we have set up the Anti-Violence Network coordinated by the Municipality of Milan, which has been active for many years in supporting women who decide to escape situations of domestic mistreatment and gender-based violence all along the way, offering reception and listening based on gender relations, psychological, legal (civil and criminal), professional / work, housing and economic support. Despite the scarcity of resources made available to local authorities, we have continued to increase the economic and human resources for the anti-violence network of our city “. So he comments Diana De Marchi, President of the Commission for Equal Opportunities and Civil Rights and Anti-violence Network of the Municipality of Milan.
Also introduce yourself i data from the Anti-violence Network relating to first six months of 2021, collected through 14 realities operating in the area between Anti-violence Centers and Refuge Houses of the Municipality of Milan. About 2200 requests were received from about 980 women who benefited from the various interventions offered by the Anti-violence Network of the Municipality of Milan (from telephone listening, to reception, from psychological support, to accompaniment to work, from legal advice, to housing autonomy). In about a quarter of the cases these are women who have asked for help for the first time while there are over 400 women who have been welcomed in paths still in place to escape from situations of violence and 50 women and 27 children who were hosted in Refuge Homes.). 59% of the women helped by the Net have children and 64% are of Italian nationality. 68% of the reported violence is of a physical nature, 24% sexual and 22% assumes the forms of ‘economic’ violence. Sad record for psychological violence (84%).
The fundamental role of the Associations
A fundamental assistance work that can now count on an extra contribution. In fact, a collaboration was started between the Milan Anti-Violence Network and Gilead Sciences which provided for the disbursement of 20,000 euros for the implementation of initiatives in favor of women victims of gender-based violence: internships and work grants for courses and projects of job reintegration and professional retraining; services for the work-family balance; housing autonomy projects; expenditure on health promotion for female victims and minor children involved; legal fees for civil juridical procedures.
“The collaboration with the Anti-violence Network of the Municipality of Milan is part of the commitment to protect and promote the values of diversity and inclusion that as a global company we support in all the communities in which we operate – explains Gemma Saccomanni, Public Affairs Director of Gilead Sciences Italy – We do not stop at the research and development of innovative drugs, but we actively support those who work in favor of those who live in conditions of discrimination, marginalization or violence. Among the most disadvantaged segments of the population are women, to whom phenomena such as violence and gender disparity in its various aspects prevent a full and legitimate participation in the social and economic life of the country “.
Spend engages in violence against women? For the Italians interviewed in the first place there are the superiors at work (86% of answers often / sometimes), in second place the male partners (84%) and other men of the family (73%). Followed by strangers (78%) and friends and acquaintances, both women and men (75%). To underline a fundamental fact: almost half of the women interviewed think that the male partner is often abusive, violent on a psychological or physical level, while only 35% of men agrees with this description, confirming the underestimation of the problem.
Dai Network data anti-violence on the territory of the Municipality of Milan emerges instead that over 89% of women suffer violence from a family member: 74% of those who mistreat them are husbands, cohabitants, boyfriends or exes and 68% of the latter are of Italian nationality.
“The general picture that emerges – explains Cosimo Finzi, Director of AstraResearch – it is that of an Italy still anchored on certain legacies, but aware that gender-based violence exists and is a priority issue to be addressed. This is demonstrated by the data on the perception of gender equality, defined as ‘a condition in which women and men receive equal treatment, with equal ease of access to resources and opportunities, regardless of their gender’: only for 18.8% of the interviewees gender equality in Italy is real, fully achieved”.
About the modalities to combat the phenomenon of violence the Italians opt for “cultural solution“: To promote knowledge and respect for women in schools, of all levels and levels. In second place they insert the intervention on public welfare: working hours, offer of services, subsidies for the purchase of crèche service, recognition of domestic work. To follow, the paths of female empowerment for victims of violence such as psychological support, activities on self-esteem and awareness, support for reintegration into work and society and, finally, a law requiring a paternity period of 2-3 months”.